by Lisa Tome
The patrons at Chesapeake City's library love their branch so much that they are willing to back it up with cash.
The library recently received a pair of donations from which all the patrons will benefit.
One of the donations, a substantial $2,500, came via the Monsanto Fund through the America's Farmers Grow Communities project. That program, which launched in 2010, urges farmers to enter to win a $2,500 donation for their favorite non-profit.
Dawn Preske, children's library at Chesapeake City Library, explained how that donation came about.
She explained that library patron known only to staff as "Mr. Dill" comes to the branch regularly and checks out books. He nominated the branch for the Monsanto award.
"He trusted we would put it to good use," said Preske.
Those funds were used to purchase and expand the children's section of the library. "We've been transforming the children's department," said Preske.
There are now active learning centers where parents are encouraged to work with and learn with their children. One area features alphabet bags, matching games, numbers, dexterity activities, letters, shapes and more.
There is also a dress up area where children can transform themselves into a variety of community helpers. There are costumes for a firefighter, mail carrier, pilot, nurse, veterinarian, chef, and more. There is also an area where children can learn about nutrition, table manners, and more.
There is also a Lego table, train table, and areas where children can learn reading and writing in subtle ways. "It's play but it's also learning," said Preske. There are also new bulletin boards where children's works can be displayed.
"We've had these plans for a long time. We're thankful for Mr. Dill. What we can do here now is limitless. We're super excited," said Preske.
Another anonymous patron also donated $1,000. Those funds were used to buy a display case. That display area will be used to spotlight local artifacts, promote programming, and highlight community interest items. The display will be ever-changing and be maintained by library staff.